NDDOT director: Happy the Legislature's special session is discussing infrastructure
One of the main jobs for the Legislature in the special session is appropriation of the latest round of federal COVID-19 relief money.
A good chunk of that is going toward infrastructure projects – some of it toward roads and bridges. State transportation director Bill Panos said the proposed spending would go toward state highways and county and township roads.
"They all need attention," Panos said. "The Legislature has a bot of investment at all of those levels. We're very pleased with that."
Panos said the projects will include work on bridges.
"As you know, we have significantly deficient bridges throughout the state," Panos said.
Also included is work on US 85, to finish the four-laning of the roadway to the Long X Bridge, as well as some preparatory work on the four-laning of the highway from that bridge to the junction of Highway 200.
Panos said bridge maintenance is also a big focus of the Department’s ongoing infrastructure strategy.
"Our 10-year infrastructure strategy is about repairs," Panos said. "It's about realizing the design-life of the bridges that are already there."
Panos said many of those bridges do not need replacement.
"We have not been investing as much as we've needed to over the last few decades," Panos said. "We're catching up."